In March of this year GitHub opened up their marketplace to allow unverified apps. The change went relatively unnoticed but I think it’s a big deal.

Some backstory. In 2018 I shipped a GitHub app called CommitLint (now rebranded as CommitCheck). I was convinced that some percentage of developers would find it useful but I had no way to market the product. At the time, GitHub only allowed verified apps to be listed in the marketplace. Verified apps must have 100 registered users. I was dead in the water.

I effectively let the product die, until I received an email from GitHub in 2019 telling me about the new marketplace rules. Unverified listings don’t need to have any users and will appear in the marketplace alongside verified listings. I decided to rebrand and relaunch my product. Now on the marketplace I get a steady stream of new users who presumably find out about the product via search.

Future improvements

I’m happy that GitHub opened up the marketplace but there is still room for improvement. The homepage is not good for discoverability. The iOS app store, by contrast, is continually showing new apps and spotlighting developers. The GitHub marketplace feels static, only showing the most popular and newest apps.

Go make something

Despite the flaws, I think that unverified listings are a big deal for developers. Previously limited to established products GitHub is now a platform for any developer with an idea. I think we’ll see a large boom in GitHub apps.

In fact, I’m going to use one to schedule this blog post.